Leeds dad who blamed Covid crisis for MRI scan delays dies from cancer

Sherwin Hall with his widow LaTroya
Sherwin Hall's widow, Latroya, says his cancer could have been diagnosed sooner Credit: ITV

A father-of-two from Leeds who said he had to "beg" to get an MRI scan because of the Covid-19 crisis has died of cancer.

Sherwin Hall, 27, went to hospital on March 23 – the day the country went into lockdown – suffering from leg pain.

Despite repeated visits he was only given a course of antibiotics after he was wrongly diagnosed as having prostatitis.

After "begging for a scan" and 13 hospital visits in four weeks, Mr Hall was finally given an MRI scan on May 26 which revealed a 14cm malignant tumour in his pelvis and 30 small tumours on his lungs.

Before his death, Mr Hall said: "I kept begging them in April and May to give me an MRI scan, but no-one would listen.

"Both my GP and my consultant told me that I couldn't get one because scanning services were slowed down because of the coronavirus."

His widow, LaTroya Hall, who is being supported by the Catch Up With Cancer Campaign, said: "I am devastated.  I have lost the love of my life.

"If Sherwin's cancer had been found earlier it is likely he would still be here today."

She said she wanted to prevent others from suffering, adding that she was concerned about the backlog in services for cancer patients.

Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust said it had maintained scanning for all "urgent interventions" throughout the pandemic and had operated in accordance with guidelines put in place by health body NICE.

Mr Hall's death comes as patients, celebrities and NHS staff have launched a Christmas video as part of a campaign calling on the Government to boost cancer services "devastated" by the Covid-19 crisis.

Cancer charity MacMillan said the backlog of cancer patients from the first lockdown was 50,000, while there might be double the number of patients from the second lockdown.

An international study has suggested that every four-week delay in treatment reduces the chances of survival by up 13%, potentially causing tens of thousands of preventable deaths.

Co-founder of the campaign and chairman of Action Radiotherapy Professor Pat Price said: "It continues to shock and anger the cancer community that it appears there will be no substantial boost to cancer treatments coming from Government.

"For anyone experiencing cancer right now it must be truly frightening."

A Department of Health and Social Care spokeswoman said: "Cancer diagnosis and treatment has remained a priority throughout the pandemic and we urge people to come forward if they have symptoms.

"The NHS is working hard so as many people as possible get the help they need and more than 870,000 people were referred for cancer checks between March and August.

"We've given £3 billion to support the NHS in tackling the impact of Covid, including £1 billion to provide extra checks, scans and operations."